Article Side

Online Article Directory!

Hello Guest! Login or Register to submit articles!

Maintaining, and Even Expanding, Your Customer-Base in Challenging Economic Times

By Janet Taylor Subscribe to RSS | June 29th 2012 | Views:
loading
 
  



Every business experiences challenging periods, this is normal. The key to your business's success is how well you respond to these.

Tough economic times may mean that existing customers are cutting back on their orders and finding new ones may also become more difficult. Any long-time business owner understands that there will be times of famine and times of plenty, this is the natural order of things. Getting through the 'famines' requires an innovative approach. In a positive economic climate, customers may have been relatively easy to find – and keep. In tough times these same customers may begin to drift away, even though your business continues to offer stellar service.

Combatting this requires a three-pronged approach. You need to attract new customers, maximize referrals and ensure retention of your existing customers. Attracting new customers means continuing ongoing marketing; if money is tight then focus on targeting your marketing where your high-value customers are to be found. If you have a user-friendly customer data management system in place, this should be relatively straightforward.

Your referrals come from your existing customers so keeping these happy has double benefits. Ensure that customer contact does not end when a transaction is completed. We know that customers are more likely to give you feedback when they have a complaint than when they are satisfied. Actually, you have more chance of repeat business from the customer who complains (assuming you deal with their complaint in a timely and empathetic manner) than one who doesn't. How often have you had a 'so-so' experience and said nothing, or a generally positive experience that was marred by one small aspect that seemed too trivial to mention? Customers who feel like this are often considered 'satisfied' but they are unlikely to rave about you to their friends, give you referrals, or even return with repeat business.

To ensure maximum referrals and repeat business, maintain contact with your customers after the transaction has been completed. Always ask your customers for quick feedback on their experience and listen - actively listen - to their responses. Thank them for their business and ask if there is anything you can do to improve your service; feedback can be verbal or written, the nature of your business and the number of customers you encounter in a day may determine this. Social media can also be an excellent forum for maintaining an active conversation with your customers. However, written feedback, preferably made simple and easy, has the clear advantage of being quantifiable and easy to analyze.

Try to anticipate your customers' needs. Analyzing data collected from previous encounters with customers can help you predict future needs and trends. Going the 'extra mile' is often necessary, especially when times are tough and customers hard to come by. People love to feel appreciated so reward customers at the end of an experience with a small gift or an upgrade on future purchases/services. Similarly, offer incentives for referrals in terms of discounts or upgrades. Encourage existing customers to make long-term commitments; again, offer an incentive for doing this. You don't want your 'good' customers to wander away for lack of a little extra attention.

Ensure that you have an efficient system in place for managing your customer data; successful businesses will rapidly outgrow spreadsheets and a system that can survey customers, analyze and interpret results and store the resulting data where it is readily available to all appropriate employees will be indispensable. During tough economic times you may need to trim your overheads and re-think your marketing strategies; however, compromising on customer service before, during and after the transaction should never be an option – your customers are your business, so don't let them drift away because you failed to follow up.

Janet Taylor - About Author:
Janet Taylor writes for InSite Systems, a leader in surveys systems and a pioneer of online survey tool. For more information about our customer feedback system visit http://www.insitesystems.com

Share on Facebook Tweet It Stumbleupon this post This post is delicious !

Article Source:
http://www.articleside.com/software-articles/maintaining-and-even-expanding-your-customer-base-in-challenging-economic-times.htm

Related Software Articles Subscribe to RSS

Leading company offering Custom software development services to its clients
Published by Coloprilreview on November 25th 2011 | Software
Unique Solutions of Advanced Technologies has exceptional skill and expertise to provide Custom soft...
 
Benefits offered by the reverse logistics software
Published by Angel on April 20th 2012 | Software
When business establishments want to adopt an effective system to handle the reverse flow of product...
 
India is one of the most desirable offshore software development countries!
Published by Sumitdass on August 23rd 2012 | Software
Software development is the need of every organization. Standard ‘off-the-shelf’ software or a c...
 
Recruitment software making base for recruitment agencies
Published by Maria Warne on July 24th 2012 | Software
Recruitment software comes in a number of packages with various designs. When trying to upgrade or i...
 
Best Ecommerce software solutions
Published by Paul on February 15th 2012 | Software
Ecommerce software solutions include Zen Car, OS Commerce and Magento, among others. These softwares...
 
Role of web extraction software in data acquisition
Published by Newprosoft on December 6th 2011 | Computer
Data contained on the internet is virtually limitless and this has necessitated the development of s...
 
What can you expect out of recycling software
Published by Angel on July 2nd 2012 | Software
Recyclers are keen to extract the power of recycling software to register good results in their busi...
 
Practice management software is a boon
Published by Jamessms on February 1st 2012 | Software
To manage a clinic or healthcare is very difficult. The patients come with ailments; some require im...
 
How to make the best use of web data scrapping software
Published by Newprosoft on December 6th 2011 | Computer
Web data scrapping is software which is used to extract data from websites and this is achieved by s...
 
Speed up your computer with the registry cleaner software
Published by Hennary Joe on December 15th 2011 | Software
If you are facing many issues such as slow computer, poor performance, computer locking, blue screen...
 
Protect your system with the filtering software
Published by Erikhornung on February 1st 2012 | Software
The use of internet has become a lot, these days and almost, people belonging to all age groups use ...
 
What is so special about scrap metal software
Published by Angel on April 16th 2012 | Software
Individuals involved in scrap metal business have started using scrap software to gain good control ...
 
HRcomparison intuitive payroll software
Published by James Blee on August 6th 2012 | Software
HRcomparison are a company who pride themselves on their ability to provide business with the soluti...
 
Copy your data via Clone software
Published by Socialweb on February 21st 2012 | Software
Most of the users are prefer to store the data on computer. Computer is only reliable storage media ...
 
Protect your computer with reliable effective antivirus software
Published by Alexs on February 15th 2012 | Software
Computer security is essential for the prevention and detection of any unauthorized use of your comp...
 
Pc games’ software developed for gamers by BlueStack
Published by Maria Gini on April 21st 2012 | Software
Pc games are very much popular for the reason that many games are available online. Games can be pla...
 
Five strong pillars of RoHS software
Published by Angel on May 24th 2012 | Software
...
 
Offshore software Development is the New Normal!
Published by Elan Technologies on December 2nd 2011 | Software
Offshore software development primarily referred to cheap labor and involved maintenance work predom...
 
Why make use of recruiting software?
Published by Rogger on November 29th 2011 | Software
In this competitive world, organizations look to streamline their business processes with the aid of...
 
Best wav converter software free download
Published by Andrew Caleb on May 10th 2012 | Software
How to convert music files to wav with advanced mp3 converter software, Wav converter saving the sou...